Have you noticed some of the amazing insect life living around us this summer?
Prof Bill Amos of the Department of Zoology has been keeping a photo diary of insects this year. Here it continues with some lovely metallic insects, a stone-like bush cricket, and some fabulous action shots:
If you like shiny metallic insects, flower beetles (Chrysomelidae) are the group for you. There are many different species and most are very round and show a range of metallic colours – greens, blues, bronze. The grey bush cricket. These guys are extremely solid and if you are walking past a patch of vegetation, like nettles or brambles, and notice a disturbance rather like someone has tossed a stone into it, chance are it is one of these making their getaway. The silver-washed fritillary. As a child I remember fritillaries as being quite common. There are lots of species and the silver-washed is the largest and was always a prize find. Nowadays the silver-washed seems quite a bit commoner and I haven’t seen any of the others for years. I hope this is more because I have not been looking as hard than because they have really declined so much. The hoverfly Xylota segnis, one of my favourites. To me, they look like little sports cars. Most people would assume they were wasps and they sweep rapidly and jerkily from side to side across large leaves looking for food such as honeydew. A dazzlingly shiny soldierfly. I think this one is the broad centurion. A hoverfly hovering! This one is Epistrophe grossulaiae and it was very inquisitive, flying right up towards my camera to see what it was. Another insect jewel! I have always wanted to find one of these jewel wasps. They are so implausibly shiny and colourful. This one is probably a ruby-tailed jewel wasp. I was smiling all afternoon after finding this! The common footman moth feeding on a scabius flower. Their habit of resting with their wings overlapping and their appearance of being almost slipperily silky make them easy to recognise. The common darter dragonfly. Lovely! I have been looking hard for hoverflies and other small insects so when a dragonfly flies up in front of me it is the equivalent of a disturbed pheasant flying away on a country walk, even this species, which is half the size of its relatives, the hawker dragonflies.
You can see more of Bill’s photographs on the blog:
An Insect A Day for bee fly, orange tip buttefly and parasitic wasp.
An Insect A Day continues for scorpion fly, shield bug and click beetle.
An Insect A Day Part 3 for wasp beetle; dragonfly and aphids giving birth.
An Insect A Day Part 4 for metallic beetles and day-flying moths.
An Insect A Day Part 5 for butterflies, beetles and clear-wing moths.
An Insect A Day Part 6 for beetles, hoverflies and the silken webs of emine moth caterpillars.
An Insect A Day Part 7 for lacewings, butterflies, hoverflies and more.
An Insect A Day Part 8 for longhorn beetles, hoverflies and camouflaged caterpillars.
An Insect A Day Part 9 for damselflies, crickets and spiders.
An Insect A Day Part 10 for butterflies, moths and some rather surprising flies.
Insect-eye View for sawfly, hoverfly and solitary bees.
Why not have a go at photographing insects yourself? We would love to see your photos of wildlife where you are. Share with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram by tagging us or using #OpenYourWindowBingo to feature in our online